Pakistan gives citizenship certificate to woman in Bengaluru detention centre

Sumaira, who was living in Qatar, married an Indian man who took her to India without a visa. Later, she was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison.
A person holding onto a fence
A person holding onto a fence
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Pakistan has issued a citizenship certificate to a woman held in a jail in India, paving the way for her return to the country with her four-year-old daughter, according to a media report on Friday. February 18. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Thursday, February 17, that his ministry had issued the citizenship certificate for Sumaira, who is at a detention centre in Bengaluru, after verification of her family tree by the National Database and Regulatory Authority (Nadra), the Dawn newspaper reported.

He said the certificate has been sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan's High Commission in New Delhi would issue a travel document to her, allowing her to return to Pakistan along with her daughter. Her case was raised in the Senate on Monday by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Irfan Siddiqui.

As per a report in the Hindu, Sumaira, who used to live in Qatar, married an Indian man from Palakkad named Mohammed Shibab. The two got married in 2016, and then entered India and she was living in the country without a visa. The report added that they entered by crossing the Nepal border, reached West Bengal, and later moved to Bengaluru.

Later, in 2017, Sumaira was arrested and subsequently sentenced to three years in prison. Two months later, she gave birth to a baby girl. Her husband left her during the period when she was in custody. After her release from prison, Sumaira is living at a detention centre in Bengaluru with her daughter, the report said.

Meanwhile, prison authorities in Bengaluru said on Friday they have not yet received any communication from the Government of India or Pakistan authorities about issuing Pakistani citizenship to Sumaira.

"There are news doing rounds that the said detenu has been granted Pakistani citizenship but we have not received any official communication so far," an officer told PTI on condition of anonymity. He added that the communication may arrive 'in due course of time'.

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